New Zealand born Samoan and All Black centurion Maa Nonu and world renowned stand-up comedian Tofiga Fepuleai are in Samoa as part of a delegation of overseas Samoans here to distribute gifts to families affected by the measles crisis.
Their humanitarian initiative to help Samoans has been claimed as a milestone for the Government’s recently established Diaspora Unit.
A press release confirms that one of the NZ All Blacks most celebrated utility backliners Maa Nonu and the former Laughing Samoan Tofiga Fepuleai were formally inducted as members of the Diaspora unit.
The Unit has been silently working behind the scenes in recent months to develop a registrar of Samoans living abroad like Fepuleai and Nonu, who are permanent residents overseas but are proud ambassadors of their country of heritage.
Cabinet also tasked the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet (MPMC) as the implementing agency to establish networks with outstanding and high achieving Samoans residing overseas, as part of the Government of Samoa’s plan to acknowledge the contributions of our Samoa diaspora and to establish a network with them.
In fostering close ties with Samoa’s diaspora, Government is also receptive to their role as patriots through any potential assistance they could offer in Samoa’s national developments.
Tofiga Fepulai and Maa Nonu have demonstrated that they are true Samoans with the Mission of Love this week to provide hope for the families affected by the crisis.
Tofiga and Nonu were welcomed to Samoa today by MPMC Chief Executive Agafili Tomaimano Shem Leo and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, as the first Samoan diasporas to personally visit the country.
“Samoans are proud people who always take pride in their heritage and culture and just like most of our pacific brother and sisters; Samoans living overseas tend to give support to national teams, family and church responsibilities and cultural obligations whenever they could,” said the Prime Minister. “It is that sense of patriotism that sets Samoa apart from most nationals in the world.”
In approving the Diaspora Unit, Cabinet noted that the spread of Samoans around the globe has reached new trends and they have accomplished milestones in many walks of life.
These achievements have made Samoans world class achievers in different spheres such as rugby, America’s grid iron, rugby league, professional boxing, soccer and many other sports. Others have been household names in the entertainment industry as musicians, producers, actors, comedians, and chefs to name a few.
The Samoan diaspora has certainly grown and had contributed enormously to the global economy through their expertise, talents, and hard works.
More than 1 million Samoan Diaspora are scattered all over the world.
Meanwhile Tofiga and Nonu will be going out to the families in the villages to share the gifts and message of hope to those affected by the crisis.